Chuo Koen park to be sacrificed for “city center stadium”
Hiroshima’s new soccer stadium won’t be built in Ujina, Kannon, nor on the site of the old Municipal Baseball Stadium which has been vacant since 2009, but on Hiroshima city’s largest green space, Chūō Kōen park.
The basic development plan was decided yesterday in a meeting between Hiroshima City and Hiroshima Prefecture at the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce. The concept is a “stadium in the city” which will invigorate life in the city center all year around and the aim is for it to be open in 2024.
The stadium will be built on the park’s current green zone and will seat 30,000 people. The seating will be covered and the pitch will be exposed to the sun. The east side of the park will be used for privately owned business run on the theme of health and education. Specific proposals, so far, are for a running course, onsen facility and cafes.
The planned cost is 23-27 billion yen, up from the original estimate of 9 billion yen. Local companies Edion and Mazda have already committed 3 billion and 2 billion yen respectively. Private citizens have also contributed 200 million so far through the furusato nōzei hometown tax donation system. The city and prefecture plan to cover the remaining 20 billion or so from national funding and further contributions from private companies, though there are worries about whether private business will be keen to fund such a project in the aftermath of the novel corona virus crisis.
The current plan assumes around 80% of visitors to the stadium will use public transport and there are plans to build a pedestrian walkways and widened sidewalks that connect Hiroshima bus center and Astram Line stations with the stadium. 180-200 parking spaces are planned to accommodate the 7% expected to come by car. Local residents expressed concern that many more people may be dropped off by car (something often seen at baseball games at Mazda Stadium) causing traffic congestion.
サッカー場基本計画決定 広島市・県・商議所、24年開業へ [Chugoku Shimbun]
サッカー場基本計画 現状と課題 [Chugoku Shimbun]
中央公園サッカースタジアム（仮称）基本計画（素案） [Hiroshima City massive PDF]